07/22/2019
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State Superintendent Mark Johnson announced today that the Department of Public Instruction is now accepting grant applications for a new round of the state’s Coding and Mobile App Development competitive grant program, totaling $800,000 in awards for the 2018-19 school year.

 

The second year of the initiative will fund up to $80,000 per school to provide opportunities for middle and high school students to learn computer science, coding and mobile app development to help them gain the skills needed to contribute to the digital economy and engage as informed citizens. All district and charter schools are eligible, including schools that received grants for the current year.

 

For the current school year, $400,000 in total grants was awarded to 15 district and charter schools, each individual award ranging between $10,000 and $40,000. The General Assembly provided funding for the initiative, with expansion to $800,000 for the 2018-19 school year.

 

“I know that this year’s grant recipients are helping students gain skills that are now just essential for many jobs in our digital world,” Johnson said. “I’m looking forward to seeing these opportunities provided to even more schools and students in 2018-19.”

Through public-private partnerships with school districts and charter schools, industry, and community leaders, the program aims to help build local capacity and curricular programs through three key approaches:

 

·      Professional development for teachers and administrators

·      Development of locally relevant digital computer science curriculum that is part of kindergarten-career pathways for students

·      Engagement of industry professionals to ensure a partnership that supports connections between local school curriculum, future career opportunities for students, and industry demand

 

The deadline for schools to submit applications is May 15. School districts and charter schools can use grant funds to purchase equipment, digital materials, and for other purposes, including teacher professional development.  Grant recipients will be announced in the summer and will implement their programs in the fall. Applications and instructions are available here.

 

 

By law, grant recipients will represent a diverse pool of North Carolina’s public schools. The budget the General Assembly passed in 2017 gives the superintendent of public instruction the responsibility to choose which entities will receive the grants and instructs the superintendent to ensure diversity in “geographic location, the positive impact on the community of industry partnerships, and the size of the student population served by the recipient….”

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